It's a good idea to take a long, hard look at your savings and investments when you retire.
Your pension fund has to last for the rest of your life – as much as 30 years or more. Over that time, your savings and any tax-free cash from your pension fund are likely to dwindle.
But there are things you can do now – and in the future, as your needs change and new savings opportunities come along – to make your money stretch further.
How to save when retired
Saving money when you're retired can be a challenge, but these simple steps could help.
- Pay off loans and credit cards first. This makes sense because the interest on them is usually higher than you'll be able to get on your savings.
- Save some money in an easy-access account or a cash ISA. Three to six months of living expenses is usually enough to cover unexpected costs, like a broken boiler.
- Consider your investment options. If you're lucky enough to have more than rainy day money, you could make it work harder for you by investing it.
Investing in retirement
If you have money left over each month or a lump sum from savings, tax-free cash from your pension fund or a windfall, you could invest it.
Investing your money could:
- Give it the potential to grow
- Protect against inflation reducing the spending power of your money over time
- Mean you can leave more to your dependants as an inheritance.
What investment options do I have?
There are a number of ways you can invest your money, including but not limited to:
- Investment bonds
- Structured and fixed-rate bonds
- Investment funds
Which investment option is right for you depends on a number of things, including:
Your appetite for risk. Generally speaking, the higher the potential return, the greater the risk of losing money. But you don't have to put all your eggs in one basket – you can spread your risk across different investments.
How long you can invest for. The longer you invest, the more likely you are to receive better returns, so only invest money that you can get by without for a considerable length of time.
Your investment goals. Are you looking for growth potential, an income, or both? What do you value most: stability, tax-efficiency, flexibility, guarantees or security?
We're all different, so what's suitable for somebody else might not be for you. That's why it's so important to get advice and think carefully before you invest your hard-earned cash.
Remember, the value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invested.
You should review your savings and investments regularly to make sure your money keeps working as hard as it can for you.
A financial adviser will be able to help you review and manage your savings and investments. Find one near you at www.unbiased.co.uk.